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Garry Smith FishTalk Tune in to ABC Radio's Garry Smith at his FishTalk web site for more local fishing news.

January 17, 2009

BREAK-THROUGHS FOR BARRA

Perfect timing! This is it….the time of year when all red blooded barra fishos should be out there chasing feeding barra in the mouths of ‘break through’ creeks, that have just formed due to the recent heavy rains.

Most of these smallish trickles that have evolved from the hills have laid dormant for most of the year and are home to a myriad of smaller freshwater species such as rainbows, spangled perch, archer fish & gudgeons….then…as the first heavy rains fall they burst out into the sea through channels that look as though they were formed over millenea and a river mouth appears out of the scrub and mangroves. Nature can be an amazing thing! It’s not hard to imagine the amount of food that pours out from these new waterways, nor is it hard to figure out that predators are going to gorge themselves on this new found bounty.


Les marsh took this beauty at the mouth of the ‘break through’ creek in the background….just on dusk.

A typical male barra taken by Matt Graham from a wet season gutter….one of many taken in a torrid hour long session.

On the Northern Beaches alone there are more than a dozen B.T’s to fish….and they all produce barra…jacks…trevally, tarpon and salmon. If you extend this phonomina to Port Douglas there has to be 25 or more. How’s that for instant wet season fisheries….and right on your doorstep. My son Matt and his mates think this is the best time of year for inshore fishing and are off most afternoons and nights luring and live baiting, and often have some bumper captures. Timing is important and for me the run out tide on a calm evening…fishing the seaward exit of the B.T. often produces the best results. Predators are open mouthed as all kinds of goodies are swept out towards them and feed wrecklessly on the smorgasboard swept their way!

Freshwater lagoons have now turned into tidal saltwater creeks…interesting how the resident species adapt so quickly without perishing, ( those that are not eaten by bigger predators). A new cycle of life begins as freshly spawned barra fingerlings push their way upstream…so too many other species making up an important nursery that ensures the cycle continues.

If you try these fisheries no doubt you will encounter many smaller, undersize specimens. Please return these fish gently! On the other hand the best fish I’ve seen caught from a B.T. is a 10.5 kilo barra, so don’t be surprised just what you catch. Unusual captures over the years include milkfish…giant herring…hairtail and sole.

By far my favourite method of fishing is to use poppers. Visual strikes really do it for me, especially when a three kilo buck male barra climbs all over it and makes such a commotion. Scares the daylights out of you and guarantees the adrenalin starts to flow! Short..sharp jerks with the popper seems to work well. Don’t make BIG bloops! Hook ups on surface lures can be frustrating, but patience really does pay off when that first trophy fish comes to the net.

In addition to the B.T. creeks the rocky headlands between Yorkeys Knob and Port Douglas can produce fish of a lifetime. The barra have spawned some time ago but tend to hang around these areas chasing the abundance of bait fish. Fishing the quarter moons….on the tide changes will guarantee you some action. Watch for surface bait activity, and using lures such as the Leads Hi-Jacker, F.1.11 & Stealth Bombers, RMG one minus etc. cast beyond the surface activity and then work your lure back in a slow / erratic manner so as to keep the lure moving and in the ‘STRIKE ZONE” as long as possible. Barras really go for this and the bigger fish will give you the fight of your life….and I’m talking fish well over the metre mark.

If you do catch a barra you wish to weigh in bear in mind that Bransfords have a Barra Buster Promotion with some great prizes.

Keith Graham
Bransfords Tackle



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